F.A.Q. Frequently Asked Questions
A few answers to questions we are often asked:
As the owner of an automotive repair facility I consider it my business to educate my customers about the benefits of proper vehicle maintenance and driving techniques that not only will save them money in gas but will preserve their investment. Here are a few tips:
- Check your gas cap. Make sure it fits tight – this means tighten all the way until you hear a click. One Hundred Forty Seven million gallons of gas vaporize every year according to the Car Care Council.
- Regularly check your tire pressure. Everyone knows that driving on over inflated or under inflated tires will cause them to wear unevenly. However, driving around with under inflated tires causes resistance and can cause your car to loose 1-2 miles for every gallon of gas you consume.
- Have a wheel alignment every year. The roads in the S.F. Bay Area are so bad; pitted with pot holes, poor transitions from old to newer pavement, large amounts of road debris and many unmarked dips and bumps that having a four wheel alignment every 10,000 miles or so makes good sense. Driving with a bad alignment again causes resistance and will waste gasoline.
- Don’t be a masher. “Masher” is a term that I use to describe a driver that tries to do the 0 mph to 40 mph in 3 seconds. There’s no advantage to speeding around town between stop lights, pedestrians and the other many obstructions when the consequences always include a reduction of gas mileage up to 35%!
- Unload. No need to tow the trailer around when it’s not in use. Likewise the cargo carriers, bike racks, surf/ski racks create a good amount of drag and reduce gas mileage greatly. So if you don’t use it, remove it. Every 100 lbs added to the vehicle reduces gas mileage by 2%.
- Keep up with oil changes. Dirty oil can cause your engine to loose up to 1 mile per gallon of gas mileage.
- Have your transmission and overdrive checked. A slipping transmission or inoperative overdrive will cost you another mile of gas mileage.
- Check your operating temperature. If your gauge reads low have your garage check out the temperature sensor and thermostat. If these are bad they will cause the car to run cool and use more fuel, approximately 2 mpg wasted.
No. According to federal law, you have the right to take your car to any independent repair shop for maintenance as long as the proper service procedures are observed at the recommended mileage intervals and the service booklet is stamped. You must retain records of these services for any warranty claims.
Most car manufacturers are now recommending engine oil and filter be replaced every 7,500 miles for normal driving conditions. They paint a rosy picture. The reality is that most cars are not driven under circumstances that would qualify as normal. If you do a lot of stop and go driving, short trips or extended freeway driving, your car would be listed under the “Severe Driving Schedule”. The manufacturer therefore recommends that the engine oil and filter be replaced every 3,000 miles. This is extremely important for turbocharged vehicles.